McIlroy optimistic ahead of back scan

Rory McIlroy still hopes to compete in next week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, but is prepared to be cautious as he awaits news on the severity of his back injury.

World number two McIlroy finished second to Graeme Storm in the South Africa Open, overcoming a back issue that had proved problematic since Friday to make a play-off in Ekurhuleni.

The four-time major champion will now undergo a scan on his injured joint, before determining whether he participates in Abu Dhabi - at an event he has recorded six top-three finishes in since 2010.

"I am going for a scan tomorrow [Monday]," McIlroy was quoted as saying by the European Tour's official website. "I fly to Dubai and then will go for an MRI just to see what's up with this joint in my back.

"It was manageable this week with tape and a few pills, so I am fine, but first and foremost I have to get fully fit and healthy again and hopefully I'll be alright to play next week.

"We will see what happens. Like I said, it is manageable with the tape and a few anti-inflammatories but it's not 100 per cent.

"Part of me really wants to make this week [in Abu Dhabi] because there is so much to play for but at the same time there is so much to play for over the whole season and I don't want to jeopardise long-term goals for short-term gain. Hopefully I'll be good to go."

McIlroy was encouraged by his performance at Glendower Golf Club, as he finished tied with Storm on 18 under before being beaten in extra holes.

"I wish I could have done a little more but it's not a bad way to start the season and gives me something to build on in the weeks ahead," he added.

"I played well and wish I could have got a win but it's a good start to the year."

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